I’ve encrypted sensitive files since I started using Cloud-storage services like Dropbox back in the days and I’ve always used gpg from the command-line on my Mac and Linux-boxes to do so. But I changed my routines in favor of a UI. Here’s how to Encrypt with 1-click.
What is encryption?
Encryption is a mathematical science. Throughout history, people have used encryption to send messages to each other, which (hopefully) could not be read by anyone other than the intended recipient.
Today, we have computers capable of performing encryption for us – and digital encryption technology has expanded beyond simple secret messages; Today, encryption can be used for more detailed purposes, for example, to verify the sender of messages or to ensure that only you can access your bank accounts.
On my website I use SSL encryption to ensure that your visit to our website is encrypted and others cannot see what you are doing reading, Woa. I’m using the free SSL-certificate from the Let’s Encrypt project based by among others Google, Facebook, Cisco and Mozilla. But that’s a story for another day.
In this article, I will show you an easy way to encryption your data, with the sole purpose that only you (or those you want) can open and read the encrypted data. It is possible to encrypt all kinds of data, from text documents and spreadsheets to images and backups.
Why Data Encryption?
- Ensure that the data we share with each other can only be read by the team and no one else.
- Ensure my personal data on my Dropbox and Google Drive cloud services can only be read by me.
- Ensure that the backups I make are encrypted and thus unreadable to others.
They way I used to encrypt
There are probably some readers out there, the nerds, who prefer a terminal and a more open standard for encryption, and for you there is the one and only gpg .
gpg is super simple to use, to encrypt a file, just type:
$ gpg -c mintekstfil.txt
Then you choose a passphrase (the same as a password / key) – and then your file is encrypted.
To decrypt the file again, use the following command:Bash
$ gpg mintekstfil.txt.gpg
Important: If you lose your passphrase, it is almost impossible to get your data back.
gpg is available for Linux, Mac and Windows and can be downloaded from gnupg.org .
The new UI-solution #easy
It’s so easy, there’s no need for a long written story about this. Let me just share 2 gifs:
MacPaw, the company behind apps like CleanMyMac X (which I love) has released Encrypto, an app for secure file sharing. Encrypto allows you to drag and drop files onto the app’s window, which you can then secure with a password. You can also leave a password hint, so the person you send it to can decrypt it in Encrypto as well.
Encrypto utilizes AES-256 encryption to keep your files safe. The app allows you to share using Mail, Messages, AirDrop, and more. Encrypto is also available for Windows, so you don’t need a Mac to share items. If you’re just looking to secure documents for yourself, you can also choose to save them to your hard drive.
Generally, the original file remains unencrypted, if, however, you already own MacPaw’s Hider 2, you can also choose to hide the original copy behind that app’s encryption.
Encrypto is a free app, and can be downloaded now from the Mac App Store or from their website at https://macpaw.com/encrypto